What is a side hustle and how do I choose one

What Is A Side Hustle And How Do You Choose One?

What Is A Side Hustle And How Do You Choose One?

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If you’re looking to bring in some extra money into your life, you’re not alone. According to a recent article in Forbes, 1 in 3 need a side hustle just to stay afloat and according to CNN money more than 44 million Americans today have side hustles. So for you to pull in that extra income it is critical that you understand, what is a side hustle and how do you choose one?

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is when you create an opportunity based on a skillset or a passion that you have to bring in some extra money into your life. You do this on the side of continuing your existing form of employment or income so that you can either increase your cash flow every month or with the eventual goal of growing that side hustle into a business. 

However, a side hustle is not like a part-time job.

As a part-time job still means that you are working for someone else, and they are calling the shots. They are the ones setting your hours and paying you a limited amount, just like a full-time employer would.

The awesome thing about side hustling is that it gives you the freedom to choose your work hours and ultimately (depending on how much action you take) how much you wish to take home ($$$).

Since a side hustle can be done in one’s own time, it is very easy for anyone to start with little to no budget, allowing a person to test the entrepreneurial waters with little to no risk.

How do I turn a passion or skill set into a side hustle?

So, you’ve identified what the skill sets and passions you have and you’re looking to turn them into your side hustle. That’s great!

But you’re still not quite sure which one of these ideas is best for you.

Here are a few things you must consider before choosing:

Find something you enjoy.

As I mentioned, you’re going to be doing your side hustle in your free time.

After long hours at work, there is nothing worse than feeling like you have to put even more hours into something you just don’t like doing.

Meaning that it’s really important that you pick something you really like doing, to increase the chances of you actually taking action and creating a side hustle that could help improve your life.

Choose something with flexibility in mind.

Although many people who create side hustles are very proud of what they are doing, they make sure it doesn’t interfere with their primary job in any way. At the end of the day, this job is still your primary source of income and should always make sure that you make it your priority.

Remember to pick something that has room to grow.

However unlikely it sounds to you right now, your side hustle can become your full-time endeavor.  If you pick the right side hustle, put in the effort and drive your passion, the sky is the limit on what it could ultimately become.

Think of ways through the side hustle to scale, outsourcing opportunities and grow it where it can ultimately transition into a real business for you.

Prioritize what is most important to you in a side hustle and everything you do.

If time is important, freedom, flexibility or location is important to you, take all of these factors into consideration in the side hustle selection process.

Choosing a hustle where you can build up monthly cash flow over time, outsource tasks that are repetitive in nature and then eventually freeing up your time to either continue to scale or start another side hustle is the ideal situation to be in.

Choose a side hustle that pays.

Whether you start a side hustle thanks to your skillful hands or because of how passionate you are about something, don’t forget that the main driver of the side hustle is to generate some additional income in your life.

I’m not suggesting that you give up all your free time doing something that you hate doing, just because it pays decently well.

But I’m also not suggesting undertaking a side hustle you’re passionate about if it pays next to nothing because it really isn’t worth your time investment.

However, you should find some form of middle ground where you can do something you love whilst getting paid well enough that you enjoy your hustle.

How do I choose a side hustle?

There are all sorts of passions and skillsets that can be used to create your own side hustle, practically unlimited possibilities

And when I say there are unlimited side hustles you can choose from, I’m not joking.

Write down all the things you’re good at, hobbies, interests, things you’re good at or interest in. For this to succeed, you need to be into it, driven and committed to making it a success.

Make a list or a spreadsheet mapping out these skill sets and interests. Research online possible side hustle opportunities that are in line with what you’re good at.

Can you side hustle actually make you money?

You need to figure this out and fast. You don’t want to invest your time, energy and effort into something that won’t earn you any money. That is called a hobby and not a side hustle. So take that list of side hustle ideas and map out the ones that earn you any form of income before you ever consider them.

Set goals and a plan to help you in your side hustle selection process:

How much do you want to earn from it every month? 

Do you want a little extra income or do you want to replace your existing job? Before you can figure this out you need to get a budget in place for your current cash flow and expenses. Click the link to my dedicated page of resources to help you with your budgeting and also click the link to download my free monthly budget tool. With this, you can now figure out the monetary goals that you want to set. Once you have your monthly budget in place and it is completely clear what your current financial situation is, you can determine if you either just some additional money every month or put a plan in place to replace your existing job with the amount needed to cover your incoming cash flow.

How much time can you commit to it on a recurring basis? 

This is always a challenge but essential for you to succeed. You must be consistent above all else. Make sure you put together a schedule that you can support and commit to. Use organizational tools like Google Workspace to plan out your week. Wake up early or go to bed late if you have to, to squeeze in some extra time. Put the upfront investment so that you give your side hustle the best chance to succeed. Above else make sure you give you side hustle enough time for it to have a chance to show you some initial results. You have to be patient, nothing happens overnight.

Learn more about our #1 rated cloud-based business productivity platform, Google Workspace below.

#1 Rated Cloud Based Business Productivity Platform

Google’s Workspace cloud-based business productivity solutions are the industry gold standard. I use this amazing suite of applications to run my business and strongly recommend them to anyone. This includes mobile apps, web apps, cloud storage, calendar and more. Now that you have a domain, put it to work on the best email platform on the market, Gmail. 

Google Workspace Gmail

Become an expert and authority in your space

The first thing you need to become is an expert in whatever side hustle you plan on choosing. You will not become this overnight but you can get there by doing the following:

1. Take online courses to enhance your knowledge of this passion. With websites like Skillshare, that charge you a small monthly flat fee. You can learn a ton of quality information, fast and on the cheap. You can then take courses from industry leaders as you keep growing your business and have increased cashflow. 

2. Subscribe to podcasts and YouTube videos in your space. Use your spare time to absorb as much information as you can without taking away from the growth of your side hustle. Instead of watching TV or listening to music with your spare time, carver out quality content time so that you can become better informed.

3. Follow like people in your side hustle space on social media. This is important as you can start networking and building your network. 

4. Join forums, Facebook groups and other online communities. This will allow you contribute, network more and demonstrate your authority as a leader in your particular side hustle space.

Test your side hustle with friends, family and industry colleagues

To verify that the side hustle you’re considering is a good fit and has a chance of succeeding you could always run it by some close friends, family or even industry experts that can provide you quality feedback and insights on your ideas.

Again, this is a side hustle, it is not a business, so it is completely fine that if you want to move forward with it and give it a shot, you can. That is definitely a path you can take. 

For more information on getting your side hustle or business started, please check out and download my FREE Business Startup Checklist.

Bootstrapping your side hustle

Every side hustle I have ever started I applied bootstrapping techniques to get them off the ground.

Bootstrapping is a state of mind. You take control of your destiny. You’re putting on your working boots, strapping them on one at a time and taking the initiative. 

Check out my YouTube video below where I share with you how to get your side hustle off the ground with little or now money through bootstrapping techniques.  

When can my side hustle replace my job?

Well first, consider the fact that your side hustle doesn’t have to be your main source of income if you don’t want it to be.

You might already enjoy your day job working at your local dog shelter or selling furniture you love to a clientele that loves you back

With that being said, if your goal is to have your side hustle replace your job, what are the next steps to make this happen?

I do recommend that you track your side hustle for at least 3-6 months once it has reached this money generating milestone, just to make sure it is tracking to be sustainable before pulling the plug on your existing job. You want to put yourself in a better situation where you can scale and grow your business. You don’t want to add additional stress to your life.

Links for entrepreneurship, side hustle information, free startup guide and business tools and resources


In this article, I’ve shared with you what a side hustle is, what sort of side hustles are out there – depending on your skill sets and your passions – as well as things you should consider before you start to take any action.

It is important that you have your finances in order before you do anything including starting your side hustle and every considering replacing your current job with a side hustle.

Remember, a side hustle is something you should love doing, enjoy, be looking forward to and providing some extra income in your life.

Are you thinking about starting a side hustle? Do you already have one? What are your thoughts on side hustles? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Frank Makrides

Frank Makrides

Is a former financial technology industry executive, licensed realtor, real estate investor, an award-winning speaker, has been published, holds multiple patents and is passionate about all things personal finance and entrepreneurship. He is also a proud husband and father of 2 amazing children.

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